The nights are pulling in and the air is getting colder, which can only mean one thing… winter is coming. With the winter months come some pretty adverse weather conditions, which is why we have put together some tips for how to drive safely in the wind, rain, sleet and snow! We hope that this winter will be kind to us, but just in case it isn’t, we’ve got you covered.
1. Take your time
Make sure you give yourself longer than normal to get to the places you need to go, and slow your speed – your stopping distance increases in the rain and the snow, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to react.
2. Think about whether your journey is really necessary
Sometimes, you’re better off postponing your trip and waiting for better weather. Heavy rain and snow can cause you to lose control of your car more easily, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Keep your distance from other cars
Ice on the road or surface water can cause you to slide, especially if you brake sharply. Keep well back from other cars to allow plenty of time to slow down if the car ahead brakes.
4. Check your tyres
Your tyre treads are really important in bad weather. If your treads are too worn, you could lose your grip easily on the wet and slippery roads. Make sure you check you treads using the 20p trick before every journey.
5. Check your wipers
If it is raining heavily, or there is a chance of snow, make sure you check your wipers aren’t too worn, and that they aren’t damaged. Over time, your wipers can develop holes or become thin from general everyday use, but they’re super important to keep your windscreen clear so make sure that you replace them when necessary.
6. Keep an emergency kit in your car
Get a torch, an energy bar, a bottle of water, a puncture repair kit and some waterproof trousers and roll them up inside a coat – then stow this somewhere in your car. You never know when you might need them.
7. Check your lights
Your lights are really important, as with rain and snow comes low visibility. Not only do they help you see, they also help other drivers to see you. Before you set off, get someone to check your lights, including reversing and brake lights!
8. Brake and accelerate slowly
Braking an accelerating gently help you to drive more safely, however it is even more important when there’s ice or water on the road. Accelerating or braking sharply can cause your car to skid, which can be very dangerous – so try take things a little more slowly if the weather is bad.